Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals established Downtown Academy in 2010 to answer the question: how do we make downtown Fresno a vibrant place to live and work? In 2016, the Downtown Fresno Partnership and Fresno’s Leading Young Professionals joined forces to make the program even bigger and better. This year, the program enters its 7th cohort with over 100 graduating members.
So, what is Downtown Academy? Downtown Academy is a 10-month award-winning collaborative program designed to connect key business, government, and community leaders with forward-thinking young professionals to explore downtown Fresno, how we got here and where we’re headed. Downtown Academy received the 2016 Leadership & Management Excellence Award from the International Downtown Association.
The class meets on the first Wednesday of every month, unless otherwise noted, to take tours of downtown projects and hear from community leaders about obstacles and opportunities in our city center. In short, Downtown Academy visits cool places, eats great food, and makes great connections. This program was referred to as “one of the best programs to come out of the revitalization movement” by former mayor, Ashley Swearengin (3.3.2016).